Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

January 31, 2023

About:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is a historical fiction book, telling the story of Lale Sokolov’s experiences. Ms. Morris wrote the book based on three years of interviews with the Mr. Sokolov.

  • 288 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Harper
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 006287067X

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
My rating for The Tattooist of Auschwitz4

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Thoughts:

Frankly, I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. I have read many World War II novels, some good, some not so good. Some are truly “historical” fiction, while others are simply stories that take place in the past. This irritates me as untruthful marketing, at best, or an unknowledgeable writer, at worst.
A pet peeve of mine.

I enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris much more than I thought I would. However, I could not shake the feeling that the author was writing for the screen, and not for a book. Nevertheless, the story of Lale and Gita Sokolov is an important story to tell as eyewitnesses to atrocities, like other survivors whose tales must be heard.

The point of the book is that love can flourish in a place that, for lack of a better term, is pure hell. It is certainly an uplifting story, but I felt that the choice to tell it while distanced from the misery was misguided. I would have rather read a biography, than a romanticized love affair separating readers from the horrors occurring.

I also thought that the author needed to be more careful about the history. The most glaring one was the use of penicillin in concentration camps at a time when pharmaceuticals were still struggling to mass produce it. That left me wondering what other facts or historical events were inaccurate.

Nevertheless, at a time when Holocaust survivors are dying daily, I didn’t let the inaccuracies distract me from the message, honestly the dialogue in the book was distraction enough. However, I understand the need to bend the truth to reach a large number of audiences.

Lale and Gita Sokolov

Synopsis:

Lale Sokolov is forcibly removed from his home in Slovakia to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Once it’s discovered that Lale is a polyglot, he is assigned as the camp’s tattooist (Tätowierer), embedding numbers in prisoners’ arms.

Lale meets Gita, a fellow prisoner, and vows to marry her. However, they are in no place to fall in love, marry, or even plan for the next day.

Buy The Tattooist of Auschwitz from Amazon.com*
More Books by Heather Morris*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
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Wrap Up

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

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